Friday, December 14, 2012

Tis the season

Taking on cookie swap like a commando tonight. All or nothing, do or die.  I agreed to go to a holiday cookie swap hosted by one of Nicolas's friends. I pulled out about sixteen cookie cookbooks from my cookbook nook & in the end decided to go with a few oldies but goodies.
I know that I should only make one batch of cookies but then I have an ulterior motive for even agreeing to go to the swap.  Last year I decided that I could only afford to make cookies as gifts. The best reaction that I got was from my bachelor friends. The universal reaction was 'what's this?'. The realization that I gave them holiday sweets was precious. It even saved one of my friendships.  So I'm doing it for the single men in my life.
I got suckered into a holiday charity last week. I got a coupon from Anthropologie for my birthday & then an email that said if I donated a used sweater I would get a $10 gift certificate. Finally the stimulus to get my nautical tea ware!  What a crock?! The $10 was a discount on a sweater in store that had to be bought on that trip....the Anthro sweaters start at $198.  So I just used my coupon for my storm in a tea cup.
When you drink your tea down, it gets to the ship inside that is storming around on Earl Grey. All while your holding onto a tentacle.

I'm totally into their fusion tea set they have right now. Its tea for two literally! Two siamesed teapots & teacups.
 While I'm on the subject of tea. British, rock-a-billy tea parties. The illustrations are too DIE for. Bunnies in '40s dresses having tea...brillant.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Wish List

If it was up to Nicolas, my wish list would be that every form of plastic kitchen utensil I owe would be replaced by metal. Alas my wish list is long & lengthy, so here's a few things to make the season bright:
  • Granberg Chain Saw Mill  A chainsaw mill so that I can cut planks of wood out in the woods with my chainsaw instead of having to bring a the generator & band saw.
  • Nordic Ware Yule Log Bundt Pan  I have been jealous for years of Martha Stewart's Buche de Noel because I'm terrible at swedish rolls.
  • West Elm's Ceramic Branch vase  I love everything West Elm & I love woodland themes around the house.
  • My Double Body Form  Any true sewer dreams of owning a body double to make those perfect fitting clothes.
  • Kitchenaid Mixer  My Mum says that they only buy mixers in my family when a woman gets married.  I don't think I can wait that long.
  • A CD/Radio alarm clock is old fashion but I don't have an IPod & I don't have a cd player so I would like some way of playing music with out the loss of space.
  • A sweeping cardigan
  • A Pedi-egg, they just don't do pedicures as good as they used to now that razors aren't allowed in salons.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Keep on walking

Setting goals is good. Achieving those goals are better.  Sometimes you go way over your head, but then those goals can be the ones that you can't continue on with your life without doing them.  I set one of those goals a few years back.  I wanted to be able to run a marathon by the age of forty.  Lets break this goal down; I didn't say that I wanted to run a marathon by the age of forty, but that I wanted to be ABLE to run one.  I know that a lot of people make this goal but a few years ago I was coming up to a sad deadline.

When I was 19 I crushed my lower spine so badly that it took 4 years in rehab to be able to walk correctly again PLUS I developed adult asthma.  I was the kid that you could walk anywhere but why when running was much more fun. Total lifestyle changer, then the doctors told me that probably around the age of 36 I might be concerned with some issue moving in the direction of a wheelchair.  Then I met my bestie Juliet that got me involved in bellydance as a way of physical therapy.  It did great leaps....and a lot of body glitter.

If you've read some of my older posts there was the break dancing incident that when I went to the doctor he brought to my attention that I was walking around on broken bones & didn't even notice.  So when I went back for my third epidural session that's when I made the marathon goal.  I will be able to feel my legs to end of my life & be able to run on them.  And up until this past year I was heading the right direction with  my little health check-list:  Complete four years of dental work to have a great set of choppers - DONE.  Get the weight back down- DONE. Get the asthma under control- DONE.  Correct my hearing lost & correct the genetic disorder of circulatory problems in the legs.

I couldn't wait any longer. This year it hurt to walk, stand or sit. So I went to the same clinic my sister went to see if it was time to get Endovenous Laser Abation of the Great Saphenous veins in both legs (to get technical).  During the ultra-sounds they condition was 3 times past when I needed it done & that both of the valves were broken.  Right there in the ultra sounds there they were just dangling around like snapped twigs & the veins were perforated bleeding into my calves.  So I scheduled the left leg for the beginning of November & the right for the end.

The most hilarious part of the whole thing is that Honey Boo Boo is my drug dealer.  The pharmacy mailed the pain cream & Valium to my apartment two weeks before the procedure.  My land lady got the package for me. Wonderful woman, single mom...but her & her daughter remind me of Toddlers & Tiaras.  One night I got a knock on the door & there was her 6 year daughter in blonde curls & pink tutu handing me a box of valium.  God bless America I presume.

The scariest part was the day after the operation when I took off the triple wrapped bandages & the maxi-pads for drainage. One of the incisions didn't close & I lost about  pint of blood in my bath tub that afternoon.  Here's the most naked shot of me on the internet:

My leg seven days after the operation with out the compression socks on.  I now own quite a few maxi skirts. You have to wear those hose all the time except bed & I cannot wear them under pants.  It reminds me of the women in the 70s that wore pantyhose under polyester pants. Yuck.

I have a whole week without the hose on right now, but next Tuesday. Under the knife for the right leg.

Other than that I got a sexy new tire on the truck. Went into the frame shop to work one night & they told me that corporate thinks I'm making too much so they were reducing my pay. When I went home to write my resignation letter my power adaptor died & I couldn't work on my computer until I tracked down an adaptor for an older laptop.  Good times.

Well its Thanksgiving tomorrow so all I'm going to say is that I miss you more than not having to work on Thanksgiving. - V

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Day in Pompeii

Some know & some don't know the issues that I've been having with my legs the past few years.  To narrow down the story, my legs HURT & its nothing I did, its genetic.  Now that I have my home settled, I decided to get my temple taken care off too.  Anyway isn't that what health insurance is for anyway?   So I have ELAS surgery coming up next week to close down the veins in my legs & rework the circulation. One leg a month with six procedures.  Its simple to understand that I won't be doing a lot of walking until the new year.  Like a last hurrah, I've decided to see the exhibits in our local museums before I start my bedrest.  The first was a the Denver Museum of History & Science- A Day in Pompeii.

I have weird days off, Tuesday & Wednesday.  Great for running errands, not great for hanging out with friends- except my Mum though.  She's been the best companion of late (besides my boyfriend Nicolas) & spending time with her on a regular basis also means that I can help around her house.  If you ever want to choose a great person to go to a museum with, go with my British mother.  They really have dumbed down exhibits lately so that there isn't much information relayed when you go to see the special exhibits.  Shocking since they run around $26 & everyone has the History channel to help them be more informed.   The last time that we went to a museum together was for the Pirates exhibit. She was a British Sea Scout back in the '50s, so while Edgar & I were going around the exhibit she was adding in historical maritime info. After I while I think the other visitors thought that my Mum was a docent because they were following us around & listening in.

The Day in Pompeii exhibit was in two segments. A lifestyle exhibit for the first segment & tragedy in the second.  In the first segment it went over two houses & their belongings, lifestyles & culture.  My mother had been to Pompeii back in the '60s. They had current images of the ruins of Pompeii & she said that the ruins had changed quite a bit since she was there.  Back then she said it was just a bunch of stone ruins & currently they've done more reconstruction.  Is this because of an increase in historical tourism?  Anyway, the Roman sculpture was beautifully preserved.  What I thought was a good conversation piece was the Roman laundromats of the time.  I never thought about bleach before or where it came from. The ancient Romans didn't have it though they wore those white togas.  What is a naturally occurring source of bleach? Urine. First the slaves would work out the stains with a silt bath, then a rinsing bath, then soak the clothes in a urine bath to make them white.  Apparently you could find the local launder by the clay pots left outside the shops for the passerby to pee into.  Then the pots would be brought inside to the pool of pee.  I wonder about the smell & can only think of two answers. A LOT of perfume & incense or its like when you go camping, you just don't notice the campfire smoke.

The second part of the exhibit started with a time elapsed computer animation of the day that Mt Vesuvius erupted.  It was AWESOME (speaking as one that enjoys apocalypse movies)!  I always thought that it BOOM volcano erupts & crazy lava flow kills everyone. Nope, it took a good 24 hrs & most of those killed were so because they thought it would pass like a bad rain storm.  The falling ash & rocks went on until they were driven to the second floor of their houses & when they made a break for it the heat & poisonous gases killed them. Most of the bodies were found on stairwells. 

After the video you entered out to the room of body casts.  When discovered, all of the bodies has since decayed away millenia ago, but there were voids where they once had been.  Anthropologists of the time pour plaster into the voids to get the casts in the exhibit.
This is when the children in the exhibit started crying.  One next to me actual told his grandmother, "I don't want to be here anymore. Take me out of here."  That's the power of history for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween everyone!  I'm spending my halloween this year completely different- I'm staying in. My boyfriend has to work; I'm going to start a medical procedure in six days so I need to conserve on cash; I didn't complete my brilliantly planned costume; my sister & brother-in-law are at a wedding in the Dominician Republic so I'm puppy sitting for them.  All the equation to stay in & hand out treats to the kiddies in costume.
I did do the annual haunted house tour.  This year Juliet suggested that we do sister houses. The 13th Floor is connected to the Undead then for a discounted price you can also go down the street to get into the Asylum & Zombieland.  Haunted houses are not your neighborhood firemen productions that we grew up with anymore.  They are big business & with them big price tags. $42 for the combo but when you show up the wait in the line is over 2 hrs so ofcourse you purchase the upgrade to the VIP line. It was partially worth it; Undead was first & had a lot of actors, more then I've seen before. Zombieland & Asylum were a disappointment, just a tradition haunt.  13th Floor though was a treat. First an elevator to an attic walk with yetis & other huge anamitronics but the best were seeing two phanamechnics that I've always wanted to see.
First was the swamp walk, the concept is to have the guest to think that they are walking waist deep in a swamp with alligators & a swamp thing around you.  All done with 3 foot air tubes (think like the bouncy castles)in a path. The illusion is assisted by fog & lasers to make a glowing green ooze.
The next was a vortex tube. A cylinder that you walk through with random lights spinning while you go up a ramp.  By the end of the ramp your balance is off & you spend another 15 mins walking outside through the haunt feeling off balance.  I got my instructions from one of my favorite haunt websites.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Denver County Fair 2012

The Denver County Fair is a new event for Denver, this being its second year.  I'm embarassed to say that though my two friends Andrew Novick & Dana Cain put on the Fair, I didn't make it to the First fair:(  But this year the events looked too intriguing to miss.

On the art & crafts side my ATC group had a booth set up, the Denver Handmade Alliance had a booth.  Then there was the Geek section w/ the Steampunks and since it was the Zombie beauty pagent you had patrols of guards from the Umbrella Corp there.  Charlie Phoenix was frying up some cereal. But what got me there on a Saturday evening was the Gothic & Lolita Tea Party.

Subculture aside, I believe that two aspects of the Denver County Fair make it unique from any other fair.  The fact that this is in a metropolis, the booths dedicated to urban homesteading & GOATS were very interesting.  There was Kate Armstrong to teach about urban foraging; the GrowHaus to learn how to grow plants and fish together in a recirculating soil-less system; DUG an urban garden right down the street from Nicolas's in Aurora; Plant a Row for the hungry got me motivated. Then there was the DenverBee...I believe that tending an apiary leads to higher conciousness. Don't you? Hand outs, handouts, handouts! I now have the knowledge on the laws for the Cottage Food industry....very important for next month with my plans for Park(in) Day (more on that to follow).

Its great how my friend's annual Pancake BBQ can become an entire fair event.  Fantastic!

Miss you more than the henna cracking on my arm.